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Gunnison Valley Health to Provide Services at Western Colorado University’s Counseling Center

Beginning July 1, Gunnison Valley Health’s Behavioral Health team will begin offering services on the campus of Western Colorado University. This new Gunnison Valley Health team will include two licensed clinicians and a counseling intern who are available to provide services to Western students and staff at the Counseling Center located in Crystal Hall.

According to Gunnison Valley Health Foundation Executive Director and Community Well-Being Liaison, Jenny Birnie, the new partnership with Western will also strengthen existing services for the students, faculty and staff of the university.

“We are thrilled to be the behavioral health provider for Western Colorado University and look forward working alongside the Western team to find ways to best support the health and well-being of the Western community,” Birnie said. “Our goal is to be there to proactively support students the moment they arrive on campus. We are there for you in a crisis but firmly believe that the best approach is to offer the resources and support people need to be healthy and avoid crisis situations.”

The services are being provided as part of a contract between Western and Gunnison Valley Health and will include individual counseling for Western students and staff free of charge. Gunnison Valley Health is also working with Western to streamline existing mobile crisis services and launch several new initiatives including new monthly student forums, increased peer health educator support and stigma reduction efforts specifically targeted to students.

The Gunnison Valley Health Behavioral Health team has been working closing with Dean of Students, Gary Pierson; Director of Student Health and Wellness, Nicole Swaggerty; and the Center for Mental Health, the previous contracted provider, to ensure a seamless transition of services.

Gunnison Valley Health’s Behavioral Health Director, Kimberly Behounek, said that everyone’s first priority is ensuring that the students accessing or in need of services are not impacted by the provider change.

“We are all working together to ensure that this transition is as unobtrusive as possible for the Western community,” Behounek said. “We were fortunate enough to have the clinicians who have been working at the Counseling Center join the Gunnison Valley Health team. This will provide stability and help to minimize and disruption for those already utilizing counseling services. There has been incredible teamwork from everyone involved in the provider change, it is amazing to be in a community so dedicated to health and well-being.”

Gunnison Valley Health will continue to offer services Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 970-648-7128.